Have you ever had an employee finish a project at work only to find that no one needed them to do that anymore anyway? They just wasted all that time for no reason! Couldn’t that have been cleared up with a quick email? Or a brief face-to-face check in? They could have spent those hours doing something that actually mattered!
Whether you’re trying to improve your relationship with your employees or with your spouse, communication is always the answer. It’s the best way to make sure you have the same goals, that you’re on the same page, and that everyone else knows what everyone else is doing. Without effective communication, deadlines get missed, duties overlap, and productivity drops. Here are the best ways to improve your communication with your employees.
Facilitate frequent reviews
Embrace the straight, honest conversation. It can be tough to deliver a harsh reality to an employee, but if you sugarcoat or gloss over difficult messages, your intentions will backfire. Your meaning will be missed and eventually your employees won’t trust you. Straight talk is hard, but sincerity shows that you care. And it’s more effective!
Listen more closely
The flip side of delivering honest messages is that you also need to receive them. Embrace the honest opinions, questions, and concerns from your employees. Though they can be tough to take, they’re important to hear if you want to strengthen your relationship with your team. They need to know that they matter. Listen carefully, with nonverbal cues like nodding and maintaining eye contact. Hear them out and demonstrate that you’ve heard them by restating their major points before you formulate a response.
Know your audience
Each of your employees is different, so treat them differently. Some less experienced employees might need more frequent face-to-face meetings to check in. Your veteran employees, on the other hand, probably need less frequent check-ins that you might even be able to cover with a few quick emails.
Communicate the big picture
People tend to engage more when they understand the significance of their works and how it contributes to the broader goals of the company. When they know their work matters, they’re more likely to perform to the best of their abilities. Your employees should know the company’s goals, the team’s goals, and that their efforts are appreciated.
Make yourself available
Your employees should know that they can come to you with concerns or questions at any time. Let them know your preferred method of communication—a knock on the door, an email, a text, or a phone call. Make your employees feel welcome and not like they’re interrupting you.
Over-communicate during crises
Sometimes, something bad happens, like a merger or a round of lay-offs. These moments of crisis are when the best leaders step up to guide their team into whatever’s coming next. Do extra communicating—full team meetings, one-on-one meetings, and extra emails—so your employees feel secure, knowledgeable, and prepared. Otherwise they’ll get anxious, confused, and frustrated.
For more tips on how to engage and motivate your team, check out our website at https://www.chiefofstaffkc.com.
Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh